New Canada-France coproduction treaty takes effect

vanilla-bear-films-Wnly2mV4YKw-unsplash
The agreement signed last summer and officially implemented May 1 covers the areas of film, television and on-demand audiovisual media services.

A  coproduction treaty signed between Canada and France last summer has officially been implemented after being ratified by Canadian parliament.

Telefilm Canada says the new coproduction agreement, which covers the areas of film, television and on-demand audiovisual media services, took effect Sunday (May 1).

The treaty between the government of the French Republic and the government of Canada was signed on July 28, 2021, providing a renewed framework for audiovisual coproductions produced between the two countries. Canada and France have been frequent partners on that front for several decades, with nearly 100 projects coproduced them between 2015 and 2020, according to the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The new treaty combines previous coproduction agreements, which covered film and TV separately. It covers “work of any duration, fiction, animation or documentary consisting of an animated sequence of images, with or without sound, intended for initial release, either in a theatre, on a television service or an on-demand audiovisual media service.”

To be eligible under the new agreement, a work must be coproduced by at least one producer from each of the parties. A producer from a third state may also participate in the work in accordance with the applicable provisions.

Each participant on a work, other than the producers, must be a national of one of the coproducing states. However, some exemptions may be granted through the mutual written consent of the parties’ respective administrative authorities.

The minimum financial contribution by the French and Canadian producers to a television and on-demand audiovisual media service work must be 20% of the total production budget.

For cinematographic works, the minimum financial contribution may be reduced to 15% of the total production budget. That could go further down to 10% of the total production budget for French-language cinematographic works, with the mutual consent of the administrative authorities.

When it comes to a work coproduced with a third state, the minimum contribution by the producers other than the French and Canadian producers is 10% of the total production budget.

The agreement also lays out several territorial rules for where the work must be conducted.

Shooting — or, in the case of animation works, production — as well as all the technical services linked to the production must be done in the territory of the coproducing states. However, through the mutual written consent of the administrative authorities, a work may be permitted to be filmed or produced in the territory of a non-party state for storyline or creative purposes.

Technical services may also be carried out in the territory of one or more non-party states “provided that the producers demonstrate the non-availability of those services in any of the coproducing states, and provided that the value of such services does not exceed 25% of the total production budget of the work.”

All dubbing services of a work, in English and French, must be performed in the coproducing states.

The distribution of rights on the work and revenues are reasonably proportional to the financial contribution of their respective producers, says the agreement.

The treaty also calls for a distribution or broadcasting commitment for television and on-demand audiovisual media service works, in the territory of each coproducing state.

Cinematographic works must have a distribution or broadcasting commitment for the work in its country, with some exceptions.

Telefilm says coproduction projects whose preliminary recommendation letter was issued in accordance with one of the previous coproduction agreements with France must still comply with the provisions of those agreements to obtain a final recommendation of coproduction status.

The parties will review the agreement every five years to assess whether a general balance has been ensured between their respective contributions to the works coproduced.

Image: Unsplashed